Every year, the NFL continues to give off the impression that it cares deeply about breast cancer research. Through its partnership with the American Cancer Society, NFL games in October in recent years have featured players, coaches, and referees all wearing pink game apparel in order to raise awareness for its “A Crucial Catch” campaign, whose goal is to make it easier to gain access to regular cancer screenings. However, when you begin to dig a little deeper, it appears that all is not what it seems when it comes to just how much the NFL is committed to this issue.
Last week, we learned that only 8.01 percent of the money that is spent on pink NFL merchandise is actually going towards cancer research, while the remaining money goes to various overhead costs. To be fair, their campaign only stresses the importance of regular screenings, and does not even pretend to be searching for a cure. Either way, it still feels misleading, and based on what we learned on Monday, perhaps their campaign for awareness isn’t much of a priority, as well.
According to reports, Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams requested permission to wear pink for the remainder of the season in order to honor his mother, who died from the disease last May, but was denied by the league.
This is more salt in the wound for Williams, who was reportedly not pleased with the lack of attention he received from the league and his former team in Carolina after his mother’s passing from breast cancer last year. Apparently, the NFL’s stringent dress code takes precedence to their breast cancer campaign. Players can wear pink, but only if it’s on their terms.